When your friends, family, and even coworkers know you were away for a trip, it’s common for them to ask about it. The next time you see them, you’ll get questions like “How was your trip?”, and others asking for details about your trip.
Your response will depend on different things, most importantly how close the person is to you, and secondly how your trip actually went. We’ll guide you on how to navigate the “How was your trip?” question in several situations so you don’t become overwhelmed by everyone asking.
Things to pay attention to before replying to someone not close to you
People you are not so close to will ask you “How was your trip?” as a form of small talk, or even as their way to be a bit nosy. It’s up to you to decide if you want to share the details with this person or not.
Here are some things we think you should pay attention to before replying to someone you are not close to when they ask, “How was your trip?”:
01Analyze your relationship
Think about the relationship you and this person share.
Is this person a friend of a friend who is always around and could potentially be a part of your circle? Or, is this the guy at your grocery store who packs your bags?
One person is closer to being a friend to you than the other. You might feel more comfortable revealing certain details to the first person, as it is likely to be in private, as opposed to the second person, where you are in public and other people might be listening to your conversation.
You should also analyze coworker relationships as certain details might not be appropriate to discuss at the workplace.
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02Be brief or vague
If it is a bad time for a discussion or you feel like there are too many strangers that could be listening in on your conversation, keep your recollection of the trip brief or vague.
Use generalizations, such as “It was a good trip”, versus detailing the things that made it good which you might not necessarily want others to be privy to.
03Keep your answers short and sweet
If the person continues to pry and asks for details about what you did while traveling, keep it short and sweet. Don’t give out more information than necessary.
If you went skinny dipping in the pool with a group from the south of Wales, you can say you went swimming with other people from the resort.
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04Change the subject
If you run out of answers, or if you feel like the person is pressing too much, try to change the subject.
A good way to do this is by asking the person what he/she is planning for his/her next vacation. You can also ask the person to fill you in on what happened while you were away.
This makes the conversation flow naturally and doesn’t make it obvious that you don’t want to talk about your trip.
How To Answer, “How Was Your Trip?”
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When we don’t mind sharing the details about how our trip went with the people we are close to, we can sometimes be short in our responses. Saying your trip went ‘well’ or was ‘good’ to your close friends is simply not enough and they deserve better answers than that.
These 10 questions will help you to better answer “How was your trip?”:
1. What was your favorite part of the trip?
2. What did you learn on this trip?
3. How are you going to use what you learned from this trip in the future?
4. What is one thing that surprised you most on this trip?
5. Tell them about the best meal or drink that you had while traveling
6. What is the difference between how people live there and here?
7. How did you get around?
8. Is there anything you wish you had packed?
9. What advice would you give to anyone going there for the first time?
10. Would you go back?
Once you can answer these questions for yourself, you can use these responses to curate more detailed and better answers to “How was your trip?”
When you get asked “How was your trip?” and it was for business, you’ll want to avoid using words such as good and bad, especially when speaking to your boss and colleagues. Instead, mention the highlights of your trip or anything that stood out.
This is what you can say:
When the boss asked
01“The trip was a huge success. We met all our targets and even engaged new contacts. I’ll have the report on your desk by the end of the day.”
This is a good response to use when your boss sends you and/or a team to represent the company and asks for a verbal rundown. It will give your boss the impression it went well.
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02“It was a long flight but once we got our feet on the ground we were back to business. Our partners were very impressed with what we proposed and we should be hearing back from them very soon.”
You can use this response when you took a business trip to somewhere far away. It is good to use this when things went according to plan.
03“It was quite the trip, but I’m glad we’re moving forward.”
You can use this when something went wrong on the trip, for example, a deal didn’t go through, or you lost a client. The hint of positivity at the end shows that you are not dwelling on what happened.
04“I gained quite a few tools at the workshop that I look forward to implementing here.”
You can customize this response based on what you learned on the trip. The purpose of this response is to let your boss know that the reason for the trip was fulfilled.
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05“The retreat was much needed. On behalf of my fellow coworkers, thanks again for putting that trip together!”
You can use this when your company sends you away on an all-expenses paid vacation or retreat. Normally, your boss will want feedback and will expect you to be grateful.
When a colleague asked
06“Let’s just say it wasn’t all work!”
You can use this response with a colleague you’re close with to say you had a lot of fun while you were away on the business trip.
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07“I went to the head office in [insert location]. It was a great opportunity to see how they manage things up there. I learned a lot about [insert what you learned].”
This is a good response to use with a colleague you work closely with, but you don’t necessarily have a very close relationship with. In other words, this person is strictly a coworker.
08“It was very exciting. I got a chance to meet with [insert name of person and role] and discussed [insert topic]. It was also my first time out of the country/in [insert location] so that was pretty cool.”
Use this to highlight a meeting with an important client or person in your company or someone you find fascinating. It is good because you’re giving enough details about what happened and your colleague can ask follow-up questions.
09“The trip took longer than I expected, and I’m happy to be back at the office.”
You can use this when you weren’t exactly pleased with the way the trip went, but you don’t want to gossip with your coworker since this is bad workplace etiquette.
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10“Unfortunately, we had to cut the trip short because we had to put out some fires at the base, but it was a wonderful experience while it lasted.”
Note that this does not refer to a literal fire and is only an expression. It means that something happened at the workplace and you had to return before you achieved the purpose of the trip.
If the trip was amazing
When you go off for holiday, whether it’s for a week or just the weekend, the people you told beforehand will likely ask you about it the next time you see them.
When you have had an amazing time, this is what you can say when asked “How was your trip?”:
When friends or family ask
11“It was fabulous! My boyfriend/girlfriend took me to meet his/her relatives and we all had a really good time. His/her mom made some of the most amazing food and they all really seemed to like me.”
This is good to use when you take a baecation/holiday trip with your significant other to see other relatives. This shares the highlights of your trip, i.e what made it so amazing.
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12“We decided to stay in a little village and have the local experience. It was one of the best decisions we made. Everyone spoke English so we could communicate easily and we and the locals learned a lot about each other .”
Use this when you go on a trip to another country and stay out of the typical tourist spots. This shows that you’re not a snob about where you stay and that you appreciated the cultural exchange.
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13“We had such a great time that we extended our stay and plan to go back soon. Can you believe that?”
This response shows that you had a very good time and your friends and family will probably be interested in going themselves. It’s almost like you’re a personal ad for the destination!
14“I ate and drank so much food that I know I gained at least 5 kilos! I wish I didn’t have to leave!”
If the food was the highlight of your trip, then this is a good response.
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15“I almost canceled my flight back so I could take a few more days off!”
Use this when you had accommodating hosts who made your holiday very special. It is good to use when you went away to relax.
When colleagues or neighbors ask
16“It was a lovely trip. Thank you for asking. You should put it on your bucket list!”
This is a short and sweet answer when you can’t be bothered to go into details.
17“Surprisingly, it didn’t feel like I was halfway around the world. I felt right at home. It was a good trip!”
Use this when you traveled out of the country and had a very welcoming experience, or the people there live just as you do at home.
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18“My trip was restful and well-needed. I feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.”
This is an appropriate response for the workplace. You don’t need to be discussing your escapades in the office.
19“I had a wonderful experience but there’s nothing like the comforts of your own home, am I right?”
This is good to use with neighbors who know you were out of town but you aren’t very close to them.
20“The kids and I had an amazing time. You guys should really consider vacationing there when you can. Maybe we can make it a group thing!”
You can use this when you are friendly with your neighbors and you don’t mind sharing details about your trip with them. After a response like this, they’ll likely inquire about the aspects of the trip you enjoyed most; however, if they don’t, then take it that they are not interested in the invitation.
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If the holiday trip was bad
When the trip hasn’t gone so well, it’s harder to come up with an answer to “How was your trip?”. Still, your friends, relatives, and others that ask the question will expect a response.
Here’s an idea of what you can say when asked “How was your trip?” :
When friends or family ask
21“It could have been better. I just wish I had packed warmer clothes because it was freezing most of the time. We didn’t even get to do most of the stuff on our itinerary because of the harsh weather.”
Use this when you were disappointed in your visit because of the weather. You can also use this when you visited a hot destination and did not pack enough light clothing or shorts.
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22“My boyfriend/girlfriend brought his/her family/friends and it was a disaster. They/we bickered all the time and there was too much tension to enjoy the time there.”
This is good to use when your trip was ruined by fights with your travel partners. You can customize it based on who the fights were with.
23“Would you believe the airline lost my suitcase? I had to spend the trip in airport clothes and what I could get at the hotel boutique. I tried to make the best of it though.”
This is a good response to use when your trip was ruined by a lost suitcase or misplaced luggage. You can elaborate based on your unique situation.
24“We decided not to rent a car since we could get to most places on foot or by bus but that was a big mistake. It was hell figuring out their complicated bus schedule and we ended up missing a lot of our buses. If you ever plan to go to [insert name of country], get your own transport.”
Use this when the reason your trip didn’t go as well as planned was a fault of your own and you want to prevent others from making the same mistake.
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25“Everything was okay except for our accommodation. That Airbnb was nothing like the photos and they totally ripped us off.”
This response lets your friend or relative know that your accommodation was disappointing but you still managed to have fun.
When colleagues or neighbors ask
26“It would have been better if I had packed for the weather. It’s very cold/hot there at this time of year. Thanks for asking”
Notice this response is less detailed than the one above. It is good to use since you generally aren’t as close to colleagues or neighbors as you are to friends and relatives.
27“I appreciate the experience of traveling, but next time, I’d do it with different people or alone.”
This is a good response because you aren’t bad-mouthing anyone specifically.
28“There was a mix-up at the airport with my luggage and I ended up having nothing for my trip! It was quite the experience!”
Use this response when you lost your suitcase. This response is good to use because it gives the impression that the trip was bad but you aren’t seeking sympathy.
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29“It would have been better if we hadn’t missed an important train, but we made the best of the experience.”
This is a good response to use when you missed a plane, train or bus on your trip and it left a sour taste in your mouth. It shows you aren’t dwelling on that aspect of the trip though.
30“Let’s just say that next time, we’ll be staying at a 5-star resort instead of roughing it at a hostel.”
This is an experience shared by a lot of tourists who want the local experience when traveling. A lot of the time, they aren’t prepared to relinquish certain comforts that they are used to at home. This response says that your accommodation was not satisfying and you are not interested in doing that type of thing again.
After your trip, the most important thing you should be focused on is getting back into the groove of everyday life. When you’re asked, “How was your trip?”, don’t stress yourself for an answer.